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482                                    THE IKON INDUSTRY.
began a four-day drunken carouse. In a short walk in that city I found a dozen men drunk upon the sidewalk. The-labor unions will not allow any reform in the matter,, as a man has a God-given right to get drunk. Much of this sentiment has been brought to  America by the English and Welsh, but they have never controlled any extensive area in our country.
In England there is a tendency for the management of an enterprise to descend from father to son, and this must retard the advancement of progressive young men. There is also an opposition to change, a magnifying of every tradition into a law of nature, and a disinclination to be different from others. All these things tend to retard industrial progress.
In other directions America is behind. The retort coke oven is an instance, although it may be said that its introduction on the Continent was a necessity, as poor coals would not give a good coke in the beehive. Another case is the use of blast-furnace gas in gas engines, a field in which Germany is ten years ahead of America. The unfired soaking pit is in universal use abroad, but has been a failure in at least four works in America. It is found that acid steel does not work as well as basic metal in these pits, and, moreover, the rail steel of America is higher in carbon than that which is used for rails in Europe, and it is known that unfired pits do not work well with metal high in carbon. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the pits are in successful operation abroad, and are not used in America even on soft basic steel.
Every country has developed along its own lines.   England has faced a lessening ore supply, decreasing both in quantity and quality and increasing in price.   Germany has been driven to the basic vessel and has made it a success.   In rolling mills our friends across the ocean have clung to the two-high reversing mill, sacrificing the possibilities of expansion in output that pertain to a three-high train.   This capacity for expansion is the line between European and,American practice.    Taking railroads as an illustration, the lines that spread over the western half of our domain have been built within the memory of young men.   The style of rail has always been fairly uniform, and in late years concerted action by manufacturers and engineers has resulted in one set of standard sections.   In England, such standardizing seems impossible.   One road is only two hundred miles long, and yet is. laid with half tee